Posts Tagged With: Hollywood

Haunts of Hollywood

Graumann’s Chinese Theater has been a landmark on Hollywood Blvd. since 1927. Since then it has played a part in many motion picture premieres. In 1973 it became Mann’s Chinese Theater until Ted Mann divorced the wife, Rhonda Fleming. A year later he went bankrupt. It reverted to it’s original name until TCL, a Chinese electronics company purchased the naming rights 2013, renaming it the TCL Chinese Theater.

West Side Story, Mary Poppins and even Star Wars all premiered at the Chinese Theater over the years. Today it is still a hot property that Motion Picture Studios still try to book the theater for new movie premieres.

One of the most famous features of the theater is the celebrity handprints immortalized in cement. There are a number of stories about how they came to be, but the most widely retold, involves an actress, Norma Talmadge, accidentally stepped in wet cement.

Here you can see the handprints of John Wayne along with his fist. Whoopi Goldberg pushed a dreadlock into her cement and Mel Brooks wore a sixth finger on his right hand. Not all of the handprints are on display at any one time. With several hundred prints having been done, there are always some being repaired and just in storage.

Like many historic landmarks, The Chinese Theater is also haunted. In 1982, actor, Victor Killian was bludgeoned to death in his nearby apartment in 1982. He is purported to search the streets looking for his murderer. Employees have also reported strange noises and movement behind the theaters heavy curtain.

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Hooray for Hollywood

You can’t pay a visit to California without catching a glimpse of the Hollywood Sign. For the more adventurous among you, you can hike close to it via several trails. Be aware it could be a three hour undertaking. There are a number of stories about the sign and how it came to be. The publisher of the LA Times had the sign erected to advertise his upscale subdivision.

In 1923, the Hollywoodland Sign was erected on Mount Lee overlooking Lake Hollywood. Each letter is 30 feet wide and 43 feet tall. It was originally meant to last about a year and a half to advertise the new subdivision. It has been in place for over 80 years.

In the spirit of Halloween, the sign is said to be haunted by the ghost of an aspiring young actress. Peg Entwistle. On Sept. 18th 1932, a hiker found a woman’s shoe, jacket and purse under the sign. When she opened the purse, she discovered a suicide note signed P.E. Having climbed up a workman’s ladder, she threw her self off of the letter “H”.

Numerous hikers have reported seeing the figure of a beautiful blonde woman in 1930’s clothing. She is often seen on very foggy nights. Some say, they were overwhelmed by the aroma of Gardenias in the air. They were Peg’s favorite perfume.

Check out this website for more information about the Hollywood and how you can visit it.

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A Walk Down Hollywood Boulevard

The Hollywood Walk of Fame features over 2,700 stars and almost half of them are in the Motion Pictures category. Anyone can nominate someone for the honor, but the honoree (or their agent) must provide a letter of agreement to be considered. Each application also requires a sponsor to pay the $50,000 for the creation and upkeep of their star. The star is also obligated to appear at the star’s unveiling ceremony. Barbra Streisand was the only star that refused, however she did show up years later when hubby, James Brolin was honored.

Over the year’s four stars were stolen. Gregory Peck, Kirk Douglas, Jimmy Stewart and Gene Autry all were the victims of star theft. Gene Autry had 4 other stars on the walk, so it wasn’t a big deal. Douglas and Stewart’s stars were recovered from the home of a construction worker who was hired to secure them.

Gregory Peck’s star on the corner of Hollywood and Gower, was stolen in broad daylight. Men wearing orange construction vests cut a perfect square around the star, loaded the 300lb slab onto a truck and never were heard from again. The star has never been recovered.

The Hollywood Property Owners Alliance is responsible for the upkeep but today many stars in poor condition. The pink terrazzo and brass stars are sometimes cared for by the celebrities fans. You would think that the 20 stars issued ever year at $50,000 each, there would be plenty of money to keep Aerosmith’s star in good condition.

You don’t even need to be a real person to get your star on The Walk Of Fame. Mickey and Minnie Mouse have their own stars, so do Godzilla, Alvin and The Chipmunks and Shrek. Animal actors including Rin Tin Tin and Lassie have been honored with stars.

For more information check out this official website.

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Something So Familiar

One of my favorite parts of any film studio is the backlot. The Warner Bros. Studio saw many classic films produced in their backlot. From Spiderman to Annie, used the famous Hennessy Street set.

Originally called Tenement Street, it was renamed Hennessy Street after Art Director Dale Hennessy. Hennessy was the Art Director for John Huston’s movie “Annie”. He redesigned Tenement Street to represent Annie’s New York city and the Orphanage where she lived.

If you saw the Movie “Gremlins” then you may recognize these steps down to the basement store where Hoyt Axton buys his son Gizmo. Unfortunately, the magical shop doesn’t exist at the bottom of the stairs.

The many fire escapes set the scene for Tobey Maguire’s and Kirsten Dunst’s upside kiss in “Spiderman” and Prince’s “Purple Rain” cover.

Around the corner from Hennessy Street you may see Hazzard County from “The Dukes Of Hazzard” where the Bo and Luke Duke would raise cain.

Even the Tanner Family from “Full House” have a house on the backlot. If you expect to find Uncle Jessie or Kimmy Gibbler hanging out on the front steps you will disappointed. It was only used once for a photo shoot and never appeared in the original series or the new version “Fuller House”. Even star Candace Cameron featured the fake Tanner House on her own Instagram.

There’s so much more to explore at The Warner Bros. Studio. For more information on tours check out this link below.

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The World Of Harry Potter

Fans of The Harry Potter series will be excited to see some of the film’s iconic props up close and personal at The Warner Bros. Studio Tour.

The candy store, Honeydukes was full of wizarding world confections. Check out the detailed graphics on these candy packages.

Creatures from the films, costumes and concept art are in every corner of the gallery. The life size Dobby was made for the scene where Harry buries him at the seashell cottage. I wouldn’t recommend getting too close to Aragog.

Fantasic Beasts is also represented in the exhibit. You can take an up close look at Gellert Grindelwald, Johnny Depp’s wicked sorceror.

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The Prop Shop

Did you ever wonder where TV shows and Movies get all of the “Stuff” to make their sets look real? One of the stops on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour takes you through The Prop Department.

If you need a library full of leather bound books or a creepy skull, look no further. Propsmasters and Set Decorators comb through the stacks and stacks of things you never thought you needed. You can even rent the Samurai armor from “Inception” or President Bartlett’s desk from “The West Wing”. Keep your eyes open, because you never know what you might spy.

You can check out some of the items for rental at the link below.

https://property.warnerbros.com/

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Hooray For Hollywood

The Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Los Angeles is great way to get an up close at movie making from one of Hollywood’s legendary studios. It was Warner Bros. that released the first talkie, “The Jazz Singer” back in 1927. Since then, “Casablanca”, “The Music Man”, “Friends” and “ER” have all worn the Warner Bros. label.

Casablanca was filmed almost entirely on the backlots of Hollywood. The famous flashback scene of Bogie and Bergman looking out the window above Cafe Pierre lives on as the last standing set from the film.

Batman, my favorite super-hero has a strong presences on the lot. The facade for Police Headquarters in the 1960’s Adam West of Batman stands. There was only one shot of the facade taken and re-used for multiple episodes as the caped crusaders ran to Commisioner Gordon’s office.

The Batman garage features vehicles that span the history of the Batman franchise. Keep an eye out for Jared Leto’s Joker mobile, Christian Bale’s Tumbler, Batmobile’s from Val Kilmer and Michael Keaton’s portrayal of the Dark Knight.

Jason Momoa’s “Aquaman” is also featured on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. You can sit on the Throne of Atlantis and hold Aquaman’s trident.

You can also see original costumes worn by Gal Gadot and Chris Pine in “Wonder Woman”

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Marilyn Monroe’s Mirror

The four-star Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Blvd is one of the area’s most haunted hotels. It seems that some guests just refuse to leave. One such guest was the legendary, Marilyn Monroe.

The Roosevelt Hotel is named for President Teddy Roosevelt and was financed by Hollywood elite, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Louis B Mayer of MGM. Among the Hotels’ guests were Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and Montgomery Clift (who still paces the halls of the 9th floor.)

Among the treasures of the Roosevelt is a particular mirror that used to be in Suite 1200 during the time that her modelling career was flourishing. Some believe that she comes back to the spot where she spent some of her happiest days. In the 80’s after a lengthy renovation, a mirror from the suite was relocated to an alcove off of the main lobby near the elevators.

One day as an employee was dusting the mirror, she noticed the reflection of a pretty blond woman. She turned around to say hello, but there was no one there. But, when she turned back to face the mirror, the woman was still there.

Marilyn is not the only spirit that haunts the halls of the Roosevelt Hotel. A ghostly apparition manifests on security cameras in the hotel pool. When security goes to investigate, there is no one there, yet the camera shows the swimmer standing next to the security guards.

Caroline is a five year old girl that likes to skip around the lobby singing and 2 gentlemen haunt The Blossom Room. One is seen wearing a tux, the other is heard playing the piano. Guests have been locked out of their rooms, the switchboard receives calls from empty rooms and yes, Montgomery Clift is heard practicing the trumpet he played in “From Here To Eternity” outside room 928.

The Roosevelt Hotel is operational today and, if you dare, you can book a room and discover if it’s haunted for yourself.

https://www.thehollywoodroosevelt.com/

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